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Chapter 16: Time to Catch Up

Posted by Marisa Veri on

When I sat down this morning to write a blog post, I hadn't realized exactly how long it had been since my last one.  Months.  It turns out it has been over 3 months since I wrote, with April's novel coronavirus disbelief still in tact, about the ways our world had changed in shutdown.  Since then, it feels like the world and life in it is simultaneously ever changing and also staying very much the same.  

Day to day life at home has settled into a new sort of normal.  The children are still more or less omnipresent and we continue to do a bit of homeschooling since I'm frankly unsure what September brings.  However, as a knitter and a Canadian, I also know winter is never as far away as it seems, so when weather permits we have been getting outside to local hiking trails, to play in the backyard, and soak in some summer in any way we can.  It turns out that I like hiking a lot.  I've talked before about my battles with anxiety and depression, and both certainly have been having a field day this year, but somehow the hiking helps.  As a novice hiker, I've found the app AllTrails immensely helpful in allowing me to gauge the trails' suitability for my kids, as well as other things about the trail.  If you're looking to hike too, I encourage you to give it a try.
On the left, two small children play by a riverbank.  Behind them you can see the forest stretching in brilliant green with the blue sky above dotted with fluffy white clouds.  The river is murky to the bottom right of the image.
Meanwhile, thanks to our bubble, I've now been able to carve out some uninterrupted time each week to work not just on the things that keep PLY ticking over day to day like marketing, customer relations and processing orders, but also on the big picture tasks like this blog, website improvements, bookkeeping, dyeing, and more.  Nearly just as I began my dyeing journey, I stopped because my 3 year old is one of those kids who essentially decides what to do by establishing what is going to wreak the most havoc, and the thought of him with dye stocks and powders was more than I could handle.  That said, now that we have gotten into a bit of a groove, I have been brainstorming how I can get back to the dye pots and I have a plan, which is good, because I also have a lot of stock to dye up, including a luxury fiber base that I cannot wait to play with.  So stay tuned, because by the next blog, I hope to have rebooted my dye studio into something I can sustainably run even with kidlets around.  
A young caucasian boy holds up a cardboard sign that reads Black Lives Matter with three cartoon hearts drawn below.

You will undoubtedly have seen, in the news and social media, the Black Lives Matter movement combating racism the world over.  To start I would like to say directly that I fully support the Black Lives Matter movement and am committed to doing the work to be anti-racist in both my business and personal life. While I think that many in our crafting community began to educate ourselves about racism in January 2019, at least in my case I will confess that I had not extended that awareness appropriately to identify the reach of white supremacy and privilege in my life and business.  Seeing the uprising that is happening has made me take a closer look at how I have directly or indirectly been a part of the problem, and in what ways I can make a difference.  It has always been our intention for our space on and offline to be safe and inclusive, and I have updated our About Us to clearly outline that, but in this moment I have learned that these intentions are where my work starts, but not where my work ends.  If you follow us on social media, you will have seen some of this already, but I have begun sharing information on allyship, how to support social justice efforts, and other information supporting anti-racism throughout my stories.  I will continue to amplify Black voices in support of a better future where equity is a reality.  To that end, inspired by Shannon at Fringeish, I am in the process of constructing a page on our site dedicated to anti-racism resources as well and I will send a link to that when it is ready.  I hope you will join us as we continue to develop our understanding of these issues and show our support.  

A pile of brightly coloured crocheted mask extenders with two buttons on each one.

You may recall that early on in the pandemic I began making and collecting mask extenders for distribution to front-line workers.  Feeling useless as I watched our healthcare workers tirelessly battle this virus, it seemed like some small effort we could contribute to making a difference.  Together we have been able to supply over 415 extenders to 4 long term care homes. I am currently preparing a batch for a retirement residence near and dear to me who cared for my grandmother in her final years.  I am continuing to make and accept donations of extenders for distribution through front-line and essential workers. The homes have sent such warm messages of gratitude for the work our little community has done.  For us, crocheting a quick two rounds or knitting a few rows may not feel like any great task but to the folks wearing masks for 8+ hours a day, these extenders are much appreciated relief for chafed and raw ear lobes, as you can tell from this message I received from one of the homes:

a turquoise background that reads in black "The staff will be thrilled.  Some are really struggling with skin irritation behind their ears.  Thanks very much for making a difference!"

I do hope that you have all been weathering this storm of a year.  Until next time stay hydrated, wear a mask, don’t be a bigot, practice your craft and stay safe.  


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